Hallmarks of a Well-Planned Holiday Party


The holiday season is officially here. That means lots of baking, shopping, and celebrating. It also means property taxes are nearly due, but we can worry about that later.

Another iconic feature of the holiday season is all the parties and get-togethers set to unfold over the next several weeks. Perhaps you’re thinking of planning a party. If so, you’ll want it to be perfect.

While good intentions go a long way, they aren’t enough to ensure your holiday party goes off without a hitch. In order for that to happen, you need to plan ahead and plan accordingly.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at six hallmarks of a well-planned holiday party.

Invitations sent early

You’re not the only person planning a party this holiday season. In order to ensure your guests aren’t already committed to another gathering, it’s critical that you send your invitations out as early as possible. Generally speaking, three weeks prior to the party date is the perfect time to send out your invites. That gives would-be guests a chance to plan ahead. It also gives you the time you need to focus on all the details of your party.

Fun dress code

Asking guests to arrive dressed in festive apparel is a common feature of holiday parties. With this in mind, think of a fun “dress code” for your party. For instance, you could ask everyone to wear holiday-themed sweaters. Having everyone arrive wearing fun and interesting outfits will help guests break the ice as well as establish a party theme right away.

Savory foods

No holiday party is complete with a spread of savory foods for guests to enjoy. Common examples include spanakopita, stuffed mushrooms, and pigs in a blanket. Cheese and crackers, veggie platters with dip, and Swedish meatballs are other options to consider. Just make sure to include one or two vegan options for those who don’t eat meat or dairy products.

Sweet treats

The best holiday parties always feature several delicious dessert options. Christmas cookies, cakes, and pies are common options, but the sky’s the limit. Again, you might want to include at least two vegan-friendly options for guests to enjoy if they so choose. You may also want to ask guests to bring their own desserts as a way to ensure a diverse spread of choices. The main objective is to avoid too much of one type of dessert; there are only so many holiday cookies one can eat before they’ve had their fill.

Festive alcoholic beverages

Most holiday parties include alcoholic beverages for guests who choose to drink. With this in mind, it’s essential to keep your liquor cabinet stocked for the upcoming party. Consider making alcoholic ice pops, jello shots, and similar novelties ahead of time. You’ll also want to pick up a case of beer the night beforehand. That’s because not everybody likes drinking cocktails. By providing alternatives like hard popsicles and bottled beer, you give more guests the option to enjoy themselves.

Music and dancing

What’s a party without music and dancing? Holiday parties are no exception. If the winter weather is mild in your neck of the woods, consider assembling a makeshift dancefloor in your backyard. Those living in places where the weather is cold this time of year may want to convert their living room into a place for guests to cut a rug. Simply move the coffee table and other furniture out of the way. When it comes to the party playlist, start the night out with holiday favorites and slowly transition to more popular and upbeat tracks. That way, the atmosphere matches the mood as the night progresses.

It’s officially the holiday season! In addition to all those presents you need to buy, you may also be tasked with planning a holiday party. If that’s the case, don’t forget any of the key hallmarks mentioned above. It won’t be a real holiday party without them!

Julie Steinbeck is a freelance writer from Florida. She enjoys writing about family, finance, and travel.